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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
This fictional creative writing piece focuses on two main characters. Liam, a 16 year old boy being held in a juvenile detention centre for the murder of his younger brother Henry. Due to the severity of this crime, the court has to decide whether he should be tried as an adult or minor. If he were tried as an adult and found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
After reviewing his case, psychiatrist Louise Parker thinks he is innocent and there is an underlying reason to what happened. She discovers he is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which can only be acquired from experiencing a trauma. This disorder involves having at least two alter egos and switching between them.
The trauma that Liam suffered was the tragic drowning of his father, who swam in dangerous water to save Liam’s younger brother Henry. Lifeguards rescued Henry but his father didn’t survive.
Liam’s alter ego Drew is angry and blames Henry for his father’s death. It is Drew who murders Henry; Liam had no control over what his body was doing. Liam’s other alter ego Jo is emotionally unstable and suicidal. The signs were there but his mother is grieving severely and has turned to drinking. She doesn’t see how erratic his behaviour has become. Liam couldn’t understand either as this disorder causes memory loss and confusion.
Liam himself is a quiet, bright boy who is grieving the loss of his father. Louise finds the explanation and is able to get him help.

Submitted: November 25, 2011

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Submitted: November 25, 2011

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“Liam, please try and talk to me. I’m not here to judge you I want to help you. I’ve reviewed your case and the evidence against you is pretty substantial, but some things just don’t add up. That’s why I’m here Liam, to try and find out what really happened that night.”

They sat in silence, as they had been doing for the previous 10 minutes. Louise had repeated these words more times than she would like to remember to children in the prison, but she felt Liam was different. She had been observing him for the last week since he entered Lakeview. He seemed unusually shy for a boy his age and very uncommunicative. Up until yesterday that is when she saw a completely different side of him. He became very distressed, both shouting and crying during lunchtime and was sent to lockdown for time out.

“Come on Liam, its okay, you’re just going to have some time to settle down by yourself,” said an orderly.

“My name isn’t Liam, its Jo!”

This remark had startled Louise, so much so that she made sure she was able to see him as soon as he was released from lockdown. Now she saw Liam again as a scared 16 year old boy. He shuffled uncomfortably in his hard plastic chair. Louise watched as he fiddled with the sleeves of his oversized orange jumpsuit. Liam breathed in slowly, closed his eyes, and tried to remember what happened that night. He shrugged his shoulders hopelessly.

“Liam, just say anything so I can get an idea of what’s going on. Whatever you’re thinking, please just say it. I’m not a mind reader; I can’t do this part for you but I’m here to help.”

That seemed to get Liam’s attention. He looked up to Louise’s face, “Tired,” he thought, “She looks so tired and she’s trying to help me, so that I don’t have to go to adult prison, maybe I’ll try, for her, try and talk.”

Louise was tired, this was only her second year as a psychiatrist, and the job she was working was wearing her thin frame down. And yet, she cared for these children so much, she always found the will to keep going.

“I’m sorry, I just don’t remember. It can’t have been me. I would never hurt Henry, he was my brother, I loved him.”

“Finally” Louise thought.

“Ok Liam, tell me more, it doesn’t have to be relevant to the case, just anything about your life that you feel like saying.”

There began the turning point for Liam. He talked for over an hour about his Dad’s accidental death, his Mum crying every night, always with a glass of vodka in her hand. Having to look after Henry, feed him, bathe him, and take him to school. He told Louise how tired he was, how much he missed his Dad, how confused he got sometimes when couldn’t remember doing things that people had said he had done.

Louise stopped him there, got him a glass of water and told him he could go. Liam was Louise’s last appointment for the day, but she wanted to keep searching. She retrieved his school file and took a good proper look. The pieces were starting to fall into place for her. She reread a school incident report of Liam’s that happened just days before Henry’s death. It had been another violent altercation between Liam and a student, the third since Liam’s fathers’ passing. Louise phoned the school and spoke to the guidance counsellor Liam had been made to see.

“Hello, Fiona Adams speaking.”

“Hello, my name is Doctor Louise Parker and I’m working with Liam Edwards here at Lakeview Juvenile Detention Centre. It says here in his file that a week before his brother’s death, he was sent to see you after a violent altercation with a fellow student. Is that correct?”
“Yes, yes it is.”

“What can you tell me about Liam during this meeting?”

“Well, he was very different to our previous meetings. We had been discussing future career options, he really is a bright young man, well was. After his father died his grades fell. In our last session though he was so different, all he would say to me was that his name was Drew and that he hated his family. I thought he was just going through some sort of emotional phase, changing his name and all. He was suspended for a week and well, he hasn’t been back since.”

“Thankyou for your time Ms Adams.”

Louise put down the phone; she stood feeling sad, but relieved. Sad, for the young, innocent boy who had witnessed and experienced far more than he should have at his age, but relieved that she now had an explanation for his behaviour. An explanation that could allow him to plead insanity, and receive the help that he deserved.

Louise saw Liam as early as she could the next day.

“Liam I’m going to get straight to the point. You did really well yesterday and from the information you provided to me and a conversation with your school guidance counsellor, I suspect you are suffering what is called Dissociative Identity Disorder. Obviously I’m going to conduct a few tests to prove my suspicion, but if you are suffering from it, it will explain a great deal.”

The necessary tests were conducted and Liam completed them with full honesty.

“Liam, I know ordinarily this wouldn’t sound like good news but considering your circumstances I am very relieved to tell you that you are in fact suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. This means that you can plead insanity in court and we can get you the help that you need.”

Liam listened to the details of his condition, which explained the memory loss, change of personality and other things he had experienced. Although he didn’t understand what he was going through, he felt complete relief.

“I knew I couldn’t have done it.”


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